News and Press Releases

Boxing Promoter Sentenced for Fixing Fights

December 6, 2004

Las Vegas, Nev. - A boxing promoter who arranged "fixed" fights and paid money to an undercover officer to influence a federal prosecutor and judge, was sentenced to three years probation and six months of home detention today for his guilty pleas to felony bribery charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

The sentence against ROBERT MITTLEMAN, age 61, of Oak Park, Illinois, was handed down by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones, who also ordered the defendant to pay a $2,000 fine and $300 special assessment, and to perform 250 hours of community work service. ROBERT MITTLEMAN pleaded guilty in April to two counts of Sports Bribery and one count of Bribery of a Public Official.

In his Guilty Plea Memorandum, MITTLEMAN admitted that on March 31, 2000, at the request of Mogens Palle, a Danish boxing promoter, he contacted professional boxer Thomas Williams, aka Top Dog, and made arrangements for Williams to lose a boxing match with Brian Nielson in Denmark. Williams and MITTLEMAN traveled to Denmark for the boxing match, and Williams lost to Nielson in the third round. MITTLEMAN was paid $1,000 to arrange the "fix," and Williams was paid up to $40,000 by Palle for losing the fight.

MITTLEMAN admitted that in July 2000, at the request of boxing promoter Robert Mitchell, he arranged for boxer Thomas Williams, aka Top Dog, to lose a boxing match on August 12, 2000, against Richie Melito, Jr. in Las Vegas. Williams and MITTLEMAN traveled to Las Vegas for the match, and Williams lost to Melito, Jr. in the first round. MITTLEMAN was paid $1,000 to arrange the "fix," and Williams was paid up to $15,000 for losing the fight.

MITTLEMAN further admitted that on October 30, 2003, knowing that boxer Thomas Williams had been indicted in United States District Court in Nevada on federal sports bribery charges, he contacted an undercover officer in Las Vegas and offered $15,000 to bribe an Assistant United States Attorney and United States District Judge to cause the case against Williams to be dismissed. On December 12, 2003, MITTLEMAN made a down payment of $3,000 to the undercover officer.

Last month, MITTLEMAN testified on behalf of the government at the trial of boxing promoter Robert Mitchell and boxer Thomas Williams. Mitchell and Williams were each convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Sports Bribery for participating in a series of "fixed" fights from 1995 through August 2000 to enhance the boxing career of professional heavyweight fighter Richie Melito, Jr. The case marked the first time that a defendant had been successfully prosecuted for fixing a fight in the State of Nevada. Mitchell and Williams are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan on February 7, 2005, at 9:00 a.m.

The case was investigated by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Bliss.

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